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Devotionals

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Loving God

Loving God

Today's Message

{ Day 146 }

As long as it is day, we must do the work of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work. —John 9:4-5

God wants you to be a working lover. Who you are is the lover, and what you do is the work. You are not to be only a worker who struggles to love God. Instead, you are a lover of God. Being lovers is our very identity. It's who we are. We are lovers of God who happen to work, not the other way around. In a fallen world, we want to do something in order to be someone. With God, exactly the opposite is true. God wants us to be lovers so that we do work. It is extremely important that what we do flows out of who we are. It is also important that we do not live from the self-centered motivation of trying to be something and seeking to achieve more. With minds that are not renewed, we work to feel important and to appear significant in the eyes of others. God expects just the opposite of that. We are not first warriors; we are first a bride. We are first lovers, and then we do the acts of war.

{ PRAYER STARTER }

Lord, it is an understanding of Your great love that motivates me to war against the enemy for the souls of the lost. My love compels me to bring others to You.

God wants us to be something before
He wants us to do something.

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Daily Breakthroughs

Daily Breakthroughs

Today's Message

Forever Free

He answereth him, and saith -.-.-.-bring him unto me. —Mark 9:19

Maybe you have gone to every therapist and counselor you can find, watched talk shows and listened to experts, but you still have that bad habit. You're still plagued with that addiction; you're still in bondage to your past.

The man brought his son to Jesus' disciples, the twelve to whom Jesus imparted power and authority. They each tried, but none could cast out the evil spirit that had all but destroyed his young son. Then Jesus said, "Bring the boy to me," and the lad was immediately set free.

Don't be fooled into believing vain philosophies of men or the rigors of religion can free you from any habit or addiction. Unless Holy Spirit power and anointing are present, total deliverance is impossible.

There is no mediator between God and man except Christ Jesus. You do not have to go through anybody; you can walk right up to the throne of grace and find help in time of need. Take your problems directly to the King today and be forever set free!

You have a High Priest interceding for you at the throne of God (Hebrews 8-10). Take to Him every request, need, and concern. He listens and answers every prayer.

Jesus, my High Priest, thank You for interceding
for me every moment at the Father's throne.
Keep me close to You. Search my heart
and know me. Amen.

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By Love Transformed

By Love Transformed

Today's Message

Seek His Face

My heart says of you, "Seek his face!" Your face, Lord, I will seek. —Psalm 27:8

One reason God hides His face is because He wants you to go looking for Him. By seeing what your reaction is when He hides His face, He can test your earnestness to seek Him.

Will you recognize the difference between the flow of your natural giftings and the flow of God's special presence? Will you discern the difference between a gift of the Spirit—which is irrevocable—and the intimacy that kindles holy fire?

Are you sensitive to the Dove? Will the counterfeit do? Never! It is only a matter of time until you notice what you have lost when Jesus stays behind. When you see your loss, you must seek His face in repentance. But it's not enough merely to admit you've been wrong. That is only the beginning.

You must go looking for Jesus. It will take you outside your comfort zone to places you've never been. Remember that you can step out of a flowing stream, but you can never step back in at the same place. The flow moves on.

Familiar theology, liturgy, clichés, or styles of worship can be very common comfort zones. You may begin to look for Christ in your comfort zones, but what if He isn't there? Will you admit to this, too?

Seeking the face of the Lord is to settle for nothing but Him. It may require examining teaching you had previously dismissed out of hand. It may mean associating with people you once said you'd have nothing to do with. It may be singing choruses you previously felt were meaningless to you.

Once God has succeeded in getting your attention, you will have to repent and seek God's face without giving up until you find Him. The journey back may require a lot of humbling, sheer embarrassment.

Seeking God's face means settling for nothing but the special presence of God—and not stopping until you know you have found Him wherever He is.

Excerpt from The Sensitivity of the Spirit (Charisma House, 2002).

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Around the Word in 365 Days

Around the Word in 365 Days

Today's Message

A House Full of Angels

Hebrews 13:1-25 This chapter begins with an interesting two verses: "Let brotherly love continue. Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some have unwittingly entertained angels."

In thinking over our lives I recall several encounters with what I am sure were angels. I just finished reading a book called Awakened by Angels, so these two verses in Hebrews particularly interest me. In this book the author had his eyes opened to see into the spirit realm, and he had ongoing encounters with angels. I must caution the reader to be careful about what kind of material he reads about angels as there are many counterfeits out there, especially in the New Age Movement. We have to remember there are two kinds of angels—the ministering spirits sent by God to minister to the saints and the angels of darkness that clothe themselves and make themselves out to be angels of light. This book on angels, however, I felt was valid because Jesus was always lifted up. The author received no teachings from the angels. He only received short messages from the angels. The Holy Spirit, who is the Great Teacher, gave all the teachings to the author, and they were all scripturally based.

One of the encounters the author had is described in the book, and I have heard many similar stories. He and his wife were traveling home by car when they saw a stranger wanting a ride. They almost picked him up, but were hesitant, so they drove to their home. Only fifteen minutes later this stranger appeared at their door. He asked for food, so they allowed him to come in and fed him. He then left. The Holy Spirit told the author later that this was not a man, but was an angel sent by the Lord to test their hospitality.

I had an encounter with what I am sure was an angel. It was right after Martin Luther King was assassinated. I had started an interracial prayer group in the inner city. As I was driving from this meeting, an African American man dressed in a gray suit was thumbing a ride. I gave him a lift, and when he entered the car, I asked him if he was a pastor. He said, "No," and then he delivered this message to me: "The day is coming when there will be people standing in line to get into the churches in Atlanta to hear the gospel preached and to experience the power of God." He then asked me to drop him at the next corner. When I looked in my rearview mirror to see where he was going, he was no longer there.

One of the End-Time exhortations is to be given to hospitality. I understand now why we are urged to open our doors to people more than ever as the day draws close to the Lord's return. I believe God will send more and more angels our way to minister to us because the days are going to be hard before He returns. We may face persecution as many are already facing this. Don't hesitate to be hospitable, because you never know whom you may be hosting.

READ: Ezekiel 33:1-34:31; Hebrews 13:1-25; Psalm 115:1-18; Proverbs 27:21-22

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Live Extraordinary

Live Extraordinary

Today's Message

HOLY - Defined

The word holy is from the Greek word hagios. Some words used to define it are set apart, sanctified, and consecrated, along with pure and morally blameless. The fundamental qualities of holiness are separation, consecration and devotion to the service of God, sharing in His purity and abstaining from worldly defilement.

In the Old Testament, God's people were to be literally separated as a nation. Jews were not permitted to keep company with Gentiles in all areas of life. However, in the New Testament, believers are to be separate from evil while living among and interacting with people who are not in relationship with God. We are to go into the world as lights but not be contaminated by the world. We are to not conform to this world's ways, but to the higher standard—otherwise we are no longer lights.

God says, "'For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,' says the LORD. 'For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts'" (Isaiah 55:8-9, NKJV). When God says, "Be holy as I am holy," He is actually saying, "I don't think, talk or live like you, so come up to My level of living.

"His holiness, therefore, includes more than separation and purity. If holiness just dealt with sexual purity, then the Pharisees would have been holy because they led an outwardly blameless life. Yet Jesus condemned their self-righteous ways. If holiness just had to do with separation, then the hippies of the sixties would have been very holy. It's not just purity, and it's not just separation. It's a transcendent separation and purity. It's a call to the "high life." It's a call to the realm of extraordinary living! It is to live as He lives, to imitate God as His dear children.

When we think like God, talk like Jesus, and imitate Jesus' lifestyle, we will not live like people of the world. Appetites and desires of the flesh will not drive us. We will be creative, innovative, pure in our morals, life-giving in our ways. We will be influencers and often envied by the world due to our success because we are thinking and acting at a higher level.

To walk in true holiness is to experience liberation and freedom at the highest level. It's healthy and will positively affect every area of our lives.

Marked by boldness and passion, John Bevere delivers uncompromising truth through his award-winning curriculum and best-selling books now available in over sixty languages. His newest book is Extraordinary: The Life You're Meant to Live. More information is available at www.ExtraordinaryOnline.org.

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